House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, in the five minutes that remain, I do not have enough time to complete the speech that I had outlined here which indicated the great economic benefits that come from the certainty of having the Nisga'a treaty in place in British Columbia.

There are two major sources of economic uncertainty in British Columbia. One is the unfortunate policies of the provincial NDP government. The other is the fact that aboriginal title in so many parts of the province is uncertain. This treaty is a major step in the right direction in dealing with that second uncertainty. I strongly welcome it on behalf of all those who are interested in B.C.'s economic future.

The opportunity to speak is fast evaporating. However, I would like to suggest that it has been known since the very beginning by non-Nisga'a that this was an injustice done to the Nisga'a people. Let me refer to my own family history.

My grandfather, born in 1880, was a small boy at the time of the 1887 arrival in Victoria of the Tsimsean and the Nisga'a people who came to plead for the land. Later, when I was much his age, he told me based on his experiences and his time in northern British Columbia of that injustice. At that time, when I was a small boy, he persuaded me—an easy job—that in fact there was an injustice to right. I must say how proud I am after all this time that I am here in the House with the privilege of being the last speaker in this debate as the senior minister for British Columbia, pointing out that we will now right that injustice done all those years ago.

Many things have been said about this treaty in the heat of debate which hon. members of the official opposition will not only regret but will be deeply ashamed of in the years to come. They know that if we do not settle this treaty now, which has been discussed, debated and argued in meeting after meeting throughout the province, in the legislature of British Columbia in its longest ever debate, in this House for hour after hour, then it is a case of going directly to the courts.

There is no opportunity for starting the negotiations again. They hold that out as a hope that somehow negotiations will take place and will result in the Nisga'a giving up some of the things they have negotiated for and fairly won in this treaty process.

If we do not wish to go back to court and have these matters determined by the courts alone but to have them determined instead by fair discussion, debate and honest analysis of one another's positions, as has taken place, then we had better approve this treaty. That is the crux of the Nisga'a treaty that is before us today.

The treaty is fair and practical. It will contribute to peace and prosperity in British Columbia. It will facilitate long awaited reconciliation that has been sought for over a century.

As the justices in the Delgamuukw decision said, we are all here to stay so we—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to ask for unanimous consent to ask the minister if he knows that over 90% of his own constituents oppose the Nisga'a treaty.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

That is not a point of order.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, that is clearly debate. It is clearly out of order and it is clearly typical of the way the Reform Party has approached this debate day after day, week after week, month after month. Every opportunity to divert attention from the actual facts of the treaty Reform members have jumped on because they know that faced with a clear examination of this treaty the people of British Columbia know it is in their best interests. We recognize that. The Reform Party does not. It is attempting to conceal this fact and therefore Reform members come up with phoney points of order and phoney—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Order, please. It being 6.15 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, December 9, 1999, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 536
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Points Of Order
Government Orders

December 13th, 1999 / 6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Before proceeding to the next vote on supply I want to make a ruling on a point of order that was raised by the hon. member for St. Albert.

The hon. member raises about the same point that he raised on the consideration of the main estimates last June. He is concerned that the supplementary estimates under consideration today authorize expenditure for the next fiscal year, namely 2000-01.

As I indicated in my ruling on this point on June 8, 1999, at page 16065 of Hansard , the “fiscal year” runs from April to March and a “yearly appropriation” bill must be based on the estimates for the fiscal year to which it relates and must be adopted by parliament to cover the government's expenses for that fiscal year.

I thank the hon. member for bringing up the point earlier in the day so it would give me a chance to look it over. I have looked carefully at the supply bill which is now before the House and I am satisfied that indeed it is based on the supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000. As in the previous appropriation bill, this appropriation bill provides the same short title “Appropriation Act No. 3, 1999-2000”.

The so-called multi-year appropriation authority provided in schedule 2 of the bill is based on legislation approved by parliament in 1998, by which the Parks Canada Agency and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency are granted authority to carry over to the end of the 2000-01 fiscal year any unexpended balance of money remaining at the end of the fiscal year 1999-2000.

As was the case last June so also it is the case now. This money is being appropriated for the 1999-2000 fiscal year. It might all be spent in this fiscal year and, if so, it must be authorized by an appropriation for this year. We are talking here about a yearly appropriation bill for the fiscal year 1999-2000.

The hon. member refers to subclause 6(2) of the supply bill now before the House and compares it against the language of carryover that I used last June with reference to the enabling legislation relating to Parks Canada. In my view subclause 6(2) serves the same purpose as did subclause 6(2) in Bill C-86 on June 8, 1999, namely, to reflect the authorization provided in the enabling legislation and a process whereby multi-year spending is to be applied to the applicable appropriations act in sequence.

Accordingly what is included in schedule 2 is already authorized by parliament and is referred to in clause 2 for information purposes only. My ruling is therefore that the supply bill is properly before the House.

I would like to thank the honourable member for his interest in the business of supply. I encourage him to keep on being vigilant and I thank him.